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Public Safety

Austin health officials recommend masking up indoors as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations spike

Austin Public Health is recommending everyone – including those who are vaccinated – wear a face covering indoors as Covid-19 cases continue rising in Austin and Travis County. Local Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes told a joint session of Travis…

EMS leader recounts medics' harrowing week during freeze

First responders are still in recovery mode as they plan for the next severe weather event, such as the freeze that gripped Austin in mid-February, and any other unforeseen disaster that may occur. “Our medics’ stories should be heard,” Austin…

Fire/EMS station construction on pace despite pandemic

In 2017, a service needs analysis of the Austin Fire Department led to the City Council-sanctioned creation of a six-year plan to construct and staff five fire/EMS stations in the areas of most need: Del Valle/Moore’s Crossing, Travis Country, Loop…

Austin-Travis County raises Covid risk level to stage 3 as hospitalizations increase

Lea esta nota en español Austin-Travis County returned to stage 3 of the Covid-19 risk-based guidelines Thursday. The change was made after the detection of four cases of the more infectious Delta variant and recent increases in new Covid-19 cases…

Delta variant may be to blame for rise in hospital admissions

On Tuesday, Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes and Austin Public Health interim Director Adrienne Stirrup updated the Travis County Commissioners Court on Covid-19 and vaccination efforts in the county. “So far, we have not received a confirmed case…

Firefighters' leader says department needs more funds

When City Manager Spencer Cronk presented the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget to City Council last week, he noted that the new Loop 360 fire/EMS station would be opening in the coming fiscal year. According to the manager’s budget document, the…

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APD to issue citations beginning Sunday as part of Prop B enforcement

The Austin Police Department could begin issuing citations this Sunday, July 11, for camping, panhandling and resting in the public right of way in downtown, West Campus and part of East Austin – areas where such activities were allowed before…

Nearly four dozen people have applied to be Austin’s next police chief. Here are four things to know.

The police chief in Wichita, Kansas. A commanding officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. An engineer with a cybersecurity firm. A real estate investor. These are some of the 45 candidates who have applied to be Austin’s next police…

Austin congressman wants to give local governments the ability to expand Medicaid

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin is introducing legislation that would allow local governments in Texas to expand Medicaid to more of their low-income residents. During this year’s legislative session, Texas lawmakers again refused to expand the program statewide.…

After public condemnation, county to rework correctional master plan

A highly anticipated Travis County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday was more contentious than usual and lasted later into the evening to accommodate hours of public comments criticizing a plan to allocate $80 million to fund a new women’s jail. Though…

Austin police can start ticketing people for panhandling and camping or sitting in public

The Austin Police Department will begin enforcing a city ban on camping in public that was reinstated by Austin voters last month. Proposition B, the citizen-led effort to reinstate the rules, officially went into effect May 11, but the city adopted a staggered…

Commissioners clap back at justice advocates protesting county jail plan

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday responded to pushback from criminal justice reform advocates upset at the county’s plan to approve a $4.2 million design contract for a new women’s jail. While commissioners ultimately decided to delay the motion…

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